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Destinations

Santa Monica – great place to base yourself for a visit to Southern California

March 25, 2019

Santa Monica is where the city meets the sea. With its incomparable oceanfront setting, world-class dining, and vibrant cultural scene, Santa Monica combines the laid-back appeal of a classic California beach town with big-city sophistication to create a destination that is unlike anywhere else.

One of the main questions that you will ask yourself when planning a trip to Southern California is what is the good location for making a base. Santa Monica is perfect answer – close to many popular destinations such as Hollywood, Downtown LA, Beverly Hills, but it is also set on a beautiful beach, with a lot of good restaurants, activities and amazing sunset on a world famous Santa Monica Pier.

Santa Monica’s prime location within greater Los Angeles easily allows for day trips to take in the glitz and glamour of Beverly Hills, the nightlife of West Hollywood, the thrill of Universal Studios, or a hike behind the Hollywood sign, without having to sacrifice a heavenly beach side base. National Geographic ranked Santa Monica as one of the “Top Ten Beach Cities in the World” – putting Santa Monica in the ranks with Barcelona, Sydney and Rio de Janerio.

Along Ocean Avenue, alfresco dining spots, pastel-hued hotels, palm-lined Palisades Park, and the distinctive Tongva Park provide enviable beachfront hangouts. Ocean Front Walk, home of the Original Muscle Beach, still flexes its charm with a collection of rings, parallel bars, and balance bars plied by bodybuilders, yogis, and other assorted sun-worshippers. Bikes, skateboards, and even hoverboards drift down the Marvin Braude Bike Trail in an aimless procession of fun. Perched over the Pacific, the 108-year-old Santa Monica Pier, featuring the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel and the century-old Looff Hippodrome, attracts more than seven million visitors a year, each reveling in a delectable slice of West Coast nostalgia.

Located just west of Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica beach is an iconic example of the famed Southern California beaches. Because the beach is long (3.5 miles in length) it is helpful to divide the beach into two sections: north of the pier and south of the pier. Santa Monica State Beach on the north side of the pier is separated from the city by the palisades (an ocean bluff) and the Pacific Coast Highway. A series of bridges, walkways and stairs provide access to the beach from the city.

Santa Monica beach on the south side of the pier is level with the city, with parking lots, parks, homes and hotels bordering the beach. The original Muscle Beach (featuring gymnastics equipment), International Chess Park and Carousel Park are located just south of the Santa Monica Pier

Whoever coined the saying “It’s about the journey, not the destination” never arrived in Santa Monica. As the endpoint to America’s fabled Route 66, the 2,448-mile highway connecting the country’s heartland to the vast Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica has long delivered an unforgettable crescendo of Gold Coast sun, curling waves, and culture like no other. And this year, as the “Mother Road” commemorates its 90th anniversary, there’s never been a better time to celebrate its ultimate destination, and discover how the spirit of Route 66 still inspires visitors and locals alike. One of the best way of enjoying Los Angeles attractions is to purchase Go Los Angeles card. With Go card you can visit as much as attractions you wish for price starting at $92. My suggestion is to visit Universal Studios and you will have One-Day General Admission Ticket with skip-the-ticketing-line included on all pass durations of 3 days or more. 

I am always searching for accommodation where I will have opportunity to meet locals but also international tourists. Location is also very important to me. Just a block from the beach on LA’s trendy West Side, HI Los Angeles Santa Monica hostel is the perfect spot for living the California dream.

You can sunbathe in the Hostel courtyard or surf the nearby Pacific, spend an afternoon or evening at the famous Santa Monica Pier, bike to nearby Venice Beach. or just spend your time discovering the shops, cafes, and bars all around the hostel.

Super-friendly staff will help you make the most of your time in Santa Monica and explore the rest of LA, with awesome local tips and regular walking tours, pub crawls, comedy nights, and more. Almost all activities are free and you can make new international friends while exploring Los Angeles.

HI Hostel Santa Monica is offering free breakfast and free wifi, and a lot of indoor activities such as free pool table, movie room, laundry service etc. This Hostel is unique in USA because part of the building is the oldest structure of Los Angeles. History well combined with modernity and international tourists.